I was reading the Sept issue of Mother & Baby magazine last night, and I came across an article about families who embraced five or more children. Quoted by a mother of five in the article, she said “You’ll not regret having a big brood, but you’ll regret having only one child.”
I wasn’t pleased with her statement. First of all, regret is a strong word. Secondly, I can’t fully comprehend why she has to impose what she thinks onto others, just because we don’t fit into her mould.
Having children is a personal option. I can never understand why some people feel the need to comment on couples who stop at one or choose not to have kids. Having a child is not a necessity. Although the purpose of life is to raise offspring to adulthood, it does not mean that everyone has to do so.
Frankly, having children is no fun at all. They are expensive, tend to break things and always around to dominate our lives. Giving birth is also very painful, not to mention the nine months of pregnancy and the whole host of discomforts – morning sickness, abdominal pain and breast engorgement.
During the first year, we have to wake periodically throughout the night to feed, burp and change the diaper. We’re forced to learn how to function with minimal sleep. Temper and tantrums coming up next in the second year. Going out with kids in tow is just as difficult too. Even when we want to steal a few hours for ourselves, we have to ensure that our kids are well taken care of by their babysitters.
Being a parent is as close to a 24/7 job. Life will revolve around the child. It’s a lot of hard works, only punctuated by occasional happy and proud moments. It’s the LOVE for the child that makes all these efforts well worth.
For the mother of five I mentioned above, she is also a working mom. She is fortunate to have her mother, mother-in-law and two foreign maids to take care of her five children. Not every one is as fortunate as her to have so many extra pairs of hands.
Take me for example; my mother is not staying in Singapore. My mother-in-law is not in her pinkest of health, I can’t possibly burden her with another baby. She is currently taking care of Little Edison, with the help of my maid. At this point of my life, I’m still not ready to give up my career. As a matter of fact, baby #2 is still not in my plan yet – although I do crave for a baby girl occasionally.
I’m happy to have Little Edison in my life. When I close my eyes, I can imagine how perfect this family size is. I want to enjoy everything about him, have the time and ability to be the best mother for him, have my own career and financially secured.
I just hope I won’t hear comments like “you’ll regret having only one child” anymore.